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QCC Invests in Community By Eliminating Student Debt

Contact: Karen Hutner
Office of Institutional Communications
khutner [at] qcc.mass.edu
 

Release Date: 
6/9/2021

WORCESTER, MA— June 9, 2021— Today, Quinsigamond Community College announced it will use over $2.5 million of the institutional portion of the Federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds it received in May 2021, to erase college-held debt for students. The debt relief program is exclusively for those students who were enrolled in credit degree or certificate programming during the start of the pandemic (March 13, 2020) through the end of the current Spring 2021 semester.

“Our goal with this initiative is to remove the financial barrier of institutional debt that keeps many students from completing their education and achieving their goals in life. The under-privileged and under-served in our community were hit hard by the pandemic. These students are often unable to continue their education due to the debt they are carrying.  By choosing to invest in our students by removing this barrier, we are investing in our community and strengthening our workforce,” said QCC President Dr. Luis G. Pedraja, Ph.D. “We are leveling the playing field for our students so that they can succeed. This enables our students to realize a better future for themselves and their families, and in doing so, increases our community’s economic prosperity. ”

The College is taking this unprecedented approach to eliminate the number one barrier in students’ achieving their goals for a higher education. This program will help put skilled workers into the workforce, assisting companies that are struggling to find qualified employees. The funding will assist 1,687 students, with an average amount of $1,525 of institutional debt forgiveness per student. Furthermore, this program is helping those affected the most by the COVID-19 pandemic. Students eligible for debt forgiveness through this initiative represent 52% students of color, 58% are female, and 48% are Worcester residents.

“We know education is the greatest equalizer, lifting people out of poverty and making lasting and positive change to our communities and our nation. By eliminating this debt, we are taking an equitable approach to higher education. We find that students with debt are less likely to enroll or stay in college.  This eliminates that barrier,” President Pedraja said, adding. “As we recover from the pandemic, we want to give our students in need a fresh start to a better life and a way to enter the workforce with the skills and knowledge they need, and our businesses need, in today’s new world. “

QCC will be notifying students on their debt relief eligibility and is asking that students not reach out to the College directly.

For more information about QCC, contact Josh Martin, Director of Institutional Communications at 508.854.7513 or jmartin [at] qcc.mass.edu

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Quinsigamond Community College is the most affordable higher education in Worcester County. As a regional leader in education and workforce development, QCC serves the diverse educational needs of Central Massachusetts by providing affordable, accessible, and high quality programming leading to transfer, career, and lifelong learning.